RealTime IT News

Bell Atlantic Taps Lucent for New Data Network

Bell Atlantic Corp. announced today it will begin constructing a new long-distance data network in July, and named Lucent Technologies as its networking technology supplier under a $200 million contract.

The next-generation, packet-switched network will serve as the regional, national, and global platform of data communications for Bell Atlantic customers.

According to Bell Atlantic estimates, long distance transport services through the in-region network will result in over $3 billion a year in new revenue by 2003. Additional platform and application services are projected to provide an added $2-3 billion in yearly revenues.

The network will employ various technologies, such as advanced ATM (asynchronous transfer mode), SONET (synchronous optical network), and WDM (wave division multiplexing) technologies.

Lucent's software product OneVision will be used in advanced administrative and operations support systems functions. According to Bell Atlantic, the technology will produce enough bandwidth-on-demand to provide Internet capabilities such as electronic commerce transactions, credit card authorization, and phone and video conferencing.

The $200 million Lucent-Bell Atlantic pact spans a five-year period during which Lucent will furnish data networking, optical networking and switching equipment, as well as various software solutions.

Today's agreement expands the relationship between the two companies and builds on an existing five-year, $500 million contract under which Lucent agreed to provide optical networking, software and SONET transmission equipment for a Bell Atlantic data network.

Bell Atlantic said additional vendors for the network will be named in the near future, and will include an ATM vendor and an Internet Protocol Packet Router vendor.

Network roll out is slated for Boston, New York, Philadelphia and the Washington, DC. areas, possibly as soon as January, 1999. Data routing hubs will be expanded to support Northeast and mid-Atlantic region markets over the next two years.

"This data network complements the high speed, local loop services the Bell Atlantic telephone companies will be rolling out in 1998 and 1999 using asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) technology," said Stew Verge, president-Bell Atlantic Global Networks, Inc.

"We anticipate many of the 2,000 Internet service providers with East Coast customers will be very interested in using capabilities provided by Bell Atlantic's new data network, just as they have been interested in high speed ADSL."

As reported on InternetNews.com, Bell Atlantic announced plans last week to offer Northeast customers ADSL service beginning in September.